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Water is the New Oil: Planning for a Changing Climate

Original post made by Resident on Aug 14, 2009

Although it is important for people to converve water, isn't the Palo Alto City Council cancelling our efforts by approving so much development? Why can't we grow slowly?

"Democrats in both houses laid out their plans for how we manage one of the most critical issues in the state in the era of climate change: the San Joaquin Valley/Sacramento delta water issues.

"Neither the delta ecosystem nor the state's water needs have been well served by decades of benign neglect," said Silicon Valley Sen. Joe Simitian, author of one of five bills in the package and chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. "The system of governance is broken and the system of conveyance is broken." (LA Times 8/6/09)

Despite the fact that consumer usage accounts for only around 20% of overall usage, we need to ensure that we aren't using more than we absolutely need. While water is a fundamental right of living, and should be kept cheap, we should understand just how much value it truly has. One of the bills in this package, AB 49 would require 20% conservation from all users. This is a laudable goal as we move forward into a changing climate." Web Link

Comments (7)

Posted by Pan Gloss, a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 14, 2009 at 4:27 pm

"Although it is important for people to converve water, isn't the Palo Alto City Council cancelling our efforts by approving so much development?"

Palo Alto's impact is minute. It is only one of hundreds of towns in California, with less than .3% of the population. Our consumption is therefore a mere drop in the bucket, even if we doubled our population. On the other hand, those other hundreds of towns and their millions of people can conserve far more water than Palo Alto ever could. We need to encourage them to get on with it.

Posted by PJ, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 14, 2009 at 4:46 pm

It's time to develop water recycling plants and do all exterior watering with recycled water. The time will come in the not too distant future when this kind of water will be used for drinking and cooking.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Aug 15, 2009 at 1:49 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

A half century ago I railed at the Hyperion sewerage treatment plant for sending up to 850,000,000 gallons a day of water into the ocean instead of 100 miles into the interior desert, while transporting fresher water 450 miles from the North. I joined in efforts to prevent further depredations on the Owens Valley that saw LA blossom like a rose while the Owens Valley withered into a desert, green only at the Indian reservations where the Federal government would not allow water rights to be sold to LADWP. The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was a piece of romantic poppycock, in that misanthropy was elevated into a religion, where anything that benefited man, especially if it yielded a profit, was anathema. I have ridden the North Coast Daylight and can attest to the beauty of the Eel River canyon, but I can also appreciate that a Round Mountain Dam would have preserved the Northwest Pacific Railroad by saving some of the water that now is lost to us into the saline sink of the ocean, while spreading our population growth away from the current centers of population.
People need to realize that Nature doesn't care, and that the earth sans man would still continue its often violent changing.

Posted by charles, a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 17, 2009 at 8:26 pm

Water has been and continues to be the reason our planet exists. China and India are facing water famine within the next few years unless they change their usage patterns. The US in some areas faces the same fate. Southern California is basically a desert surviving only because of water from the north.

Man's edifices, whether complex systems or a building, are often built without thought for the future. Patterns of living change slowly; so we must begin to change (that unpleasant word) our behavior now, or our children will have little to live for.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Aug 18, 2009 at 7:52 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Sorry, Chuck, but spending today's money to accommodate perceived future needs is the mark of maturity. We have already made changes that leave our children less to live WITH. The Greenies and the LibLudds have had a feast on the seedcorn of our future and the time for planting for a new crop is passing.

Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 18, 2009 at 12:13 pm

"A half century ago I railed at the Hyperion sewerage treatment plant for sending up to 850,000,000 gallons a day of water into the ocean instead of 100 miles into the interior desert..."

Why do you think a half-century accumulation of salt and other residual chemicals would have been a good thing for the desert soil?

Posted by anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 19, 2009 at 2:02 am

I agree with the first comment - slow the growth, push back. Our whole infrastructure is stressed out - whether we are a drop in the bucket or not - the bucket is filled by drops.

Has anyone heard that Earth's population will hit 7 billion people in a few months.

It will be even quicker to 8 and then 9 and then eventually to total collapse if we do stop acting like mindless animals in our reproduction. Intelligent species my foot, and intelligent species would have control of its numbers.

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